NEWS
Monday December 23 2019
Conte: 'I hate losing!'

Inter coach Antonio Conte reveals how defeats impact on him more than victories and accepts he is not “very diplomatic” when speaking to the Press.

Conte is known for his animated celebrations in the dugout, but he insists the euphoria is “very short”, compared to the sensation of losing, which lasts for “a day or two”.

“You can see the passion I have, even if I’m embarrassed by it afterwards,” he told Che Tempo Che Fa.

“I think it’s just pure passion, nothing I’ve prepared. I’m like this, and if I bother anyone, I’m sorry about that.

“[But the celebration is] very short, the defeat will last a long time though. [It could last for] a day or two. It affects me a lot and is also a temporary burden for my family.

“Yes [I’m happy now], but I won’t talk about that. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed.”

Conversely, he can be cold in his exchanges with reporters...

“I’m very direct, I don’t think I’m very diplomatic.”

The 50-year-old also addressed the words of former player Andrea Pirlo, who claimed the dressing room at Juventus was the most dangerous place in Turin with him in charge, with bottles flying around.

“It happened a very few times. It was to get them more tense when I felt they were a bit too relaxed.”

Mattia Destro’s wife Ludovica Caramis will remember Conte for the rest of her life as the former Italy CT had called up the Bologna striker straight after their wedding.

“He got married, but then he came straight to the camp!”

The former Chelsea boss then admitted how he didn’t feel like a real footballer until he appeared on Panini stickers and that Diego Maradona was the best player he had ever faced.

“Sure, that [Panini stickers] is what certifies that you are a full-time player.

“Yes [Maradona was the best], even in the Napoli-Lecce match when I scored my first goal in Serie A. I had marked him for the whole match.”

Conte was never considered a goalscoring midfielder, even if the Bianconeri thought so...

“[Giampiero] Boniperti brought me to the house of Agnelli. He sat me down in a very nice and spacious room and we started talking.

“He asked me about the goals I had scored during my career, and in that moment, I had only scored one.

“I looked at Boniperti and I said to him: ‘Maybe you have made the wrong signing.’ He told me to spice it up and in the end I told him that I had scored a few goals, but none that were special.”

The Inter coach managed Chelsea between 2016 and 2018, winning a Premier League and FA Cup, and he recounted how his experience in England left a mark on him.

“To be honest, in England you appreciate the atmosphere around the game a lot.

“People come to enjoy the game and the show. They recognise the effort you put on the pitch.

“One day, at Chelsea, we were playing in the home of a Middlesbrough that were going down.

“We won 4-1 and nonetheless their supporters applauded the opposing players who went under their section of the stadium.

“I was so surprised by this and I went to applaud them back.”

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